On Sunday and Monday my running schedule called for an 8 mile goal pace run for each day. My goal pace for the Portland Marathon on October 3rd is 7:40. So on these goal paced runs my goal is to keep my pace between 7:30-7:50 minute miles. Surprising to me, this is getting easier and easier for me to accomplish. My first run at this goal pace was a KILLER. Now, the pace is starting to feel a little comfortable but not like a long run pace. It is still a good hard effort to keep this pace but it is just easier now.
I was able to finish both runs within the paces desired. The weather was very windy but the sun was out so that made both runs very enjoyable albiet hard. I like these runs because each one that I finish succesfully, my confidence in my ability for Portland increases a bit. This is essential because running is a serious mental challenge along with the physical. I have never run a marathon “for time”. I did try and set a PR some time ago in the marathon and I was able to do that, but it still was not an “all out” pace. This will be a very new experience for me. Although it will be a very rich experience, I am sure it will not be as enjoyable as past marathons. However, the finish will be much more enjoyable.